Testing of new innovative HIV vaccines

18 August 2017

BPRC - 1. Testing of new innovative HIV vaccines

The development of an efficacious HIV-1 vaccine remains a global priority to prevent new cases of HIV-1 infection. Of the six HIV-1 efficacy trials to date, only one has demonstrated partial efficacy, and the immune correlates analysis of this trial revealed a role for binding antibodies and antibody Fc mediated effector functions.

Based on this knowledge new HIV vaccines have been developed which may increase protective immune responses. One tested HIV-1 envelope immunogen was engineered to selectively expose the most vulnerable and conserved sites on the HIV-1 envelope with the goal of eliciting antiviral antibodies; the other vaccine contained components that blocked unwanted non-protective immune responses.

BPRC researchers have contributed to this research by evaluating the newly designed vaccines in rhesus monkeys to evaluate the immuneresponses. Evaluation of the humoral responses elicited by these novel immunogen designs is critical for understanding how to improve upon immunogen design to inform further testing in human clinical trials. The results of this work, published in the Journal of Virology (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28490585) demonstrate that, structural modifications of the vaccin can result in earlier (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28490585), and a durable antibody elicitation (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28701402), with altered specificity and increased antiviral function post immunization.